Missouri Motor Vehicle Bill of Sale Form


A Missouri motor vehicle bill of sale form highlights the primary details of a car transfer between an owner and a buyer. It focuses on both parties’ personal information, the car’s main features, and purchase facts. The form must have an organized structure that makes it easy to read. A third party reviewing it should know how to contact the buyer(s) and the seller(s) and understand how the transaction occurred. They should also quickly identify the purchase date, sales price, and the car’s description.

  • Statutes: §§ 301.010 to 301.449
  • Signing Requirements: The buyer and seller must sign to verify the agreement. Notarization is required for rebuilt vehicles and when the Department of Revenue (DOR) directly requests it.

What is a Missouri Car Bill of Sale?

A Missouri car bill of sale labels the buyer and seller as the new and previous owners. The state provides residents an official document (Form 1957) to complete and submit during titling and registration. The buyer and seller must enter their full name, address, and signatures. The person filling out the form must also include the vehicle’s year, make, title number, sale date, vehicle identification number (VIN), and sale price. If a trade occurs, they must also provide information about both vehicles. A notary public must endorse the bill of sale with their seal, signature, and commission expiration date.

What are the Buyer’s Tasks?

In most cases, buyers purchase vehicles from reliable sources that include an accurate history and maintenance records. However, many scammers exist in the car industry. These individuals try to convince someone to make a fraudulent purchase, which, in turn, can become an expensive mistake. The imitator may also steal personal information, such as credit card data and social security numbers. Therefore, buyers must ensure they select a trustworthy company or private party.

The state warns against curbstoning, a scam where a non-licensed dealer assumes the role of a private party to circumvent rules and regulations. Buyers who notice this happening should report it via the formal complaint document (Form 4683). Individuals interested in a vehicle can also check for safety recalls online by entering the VIN or license plate number.

Temporary Permits

Dealerships issue thirty (30) day permits to customers who purchase a brand-new vehicle. This permit allows the individual to legally drive the car until they receive their title and registration via mail. Under specific circumstances, the dealer can issue sixty (60) or ninety (90) day permits.

Per state law, the dealer can only provide one (1) document per vehicle if the other has not received their title and registration. The owner must give the temporary permit back to the dealership once they receive their official information.

Generally, the dealership requests the required information from the customer and sends it to the local registering and titling location. However, if the dealer does not include this service, then the new owner must bring the following to their nearby Missouri license office:

-Certificate of Title or Manufacturer’s Statement of Origin (MSO) or Bill of Sale (Form 1957) or Notice of Sale or Completed Application (Form 108) Signed by the Dealer;

-Safety inspection*

-Current insurance ID card or proof of financial responsibility (not for trailers)

-Payment: $5 permit fee // $6 processing fee

*Not more than sixty (60) days old or ninety (90) days old if the seller is a dealer and an inspection was completed sixty (60) days before the purchase date; unless 1) the car is less than eleven (11) years old with 150,000 miles or less, 2) the buyer is an out-of-state resident, or 3) the owner is obtaining a temporary trailer permit.

License Plate Transfer

Buyers and sellers cannot transfer license plates to one another. Instead, the person who sold the car must collect them before changing ownership. The individual who bought the vehicle must bring the required information to their local Missouri license office to receive their new license plates. Sometimes, the buyer can transfer their old plates from a car they previously owned.

To transfer the license plate, the vehicle owner must bring 1) the certificate of title or MSO, 2) a completed application (Form 108), 3) proof of safety inspection, 4) a valid insurance identification (ID) card, and 5) proof of emissions inspection. Out-of-state title transfers require the submission of the ID number and odometer reading inspection (ID/OD) or verification of safety inspection.

License Plate Purchase

New owners can purchase a new license plate if they do not want to transfer one. In this case, the state requires the information listed below:

  • Certificate of Title or MSO;
  • Application (Form 108);
  • Paid Personal Property Tax Receipt or Statement of Non-Assessment (from the county of residence for the previous year);
  • Safety Inspection (less than sixty (60) days old);
  • Insurance ID Card;
  • Emissions inspection* unless the owner has an MSO; and
  • Payment**

*The registrar must have the inspection completed less than sixty (60) days before registration and titling. This law only applies to cars in St. Louis City or Jefferson, St. Charles, or St. Louis counties.

**The owner owes a 4.225% state sales tax, local sales tax (online sales tax calculator), registration fees, an $8.50 title fee, a $6 title processing fee, and a $6 registration processing fee for one (1) year or $12 for two (2) years.

If the buyer purchased the car from out of the country or state, they must provide an ID number/odometer reading inspection (ID/OD). They can also submit a safety inspection instead of this document.

The licensing office accepts cash, personal checks, cashier’s checks, money orders, and credit or debit cards as payment. Convenience fees apply to credit and debit cards based on the transaction total.

If using a personal check, the registrar must make it out to the Missouri Department of Revenue. The payee must use a preprinted check with their name, address, bank code, and account number per local law. It must also have their driver’s or non-driver’s license number, date of birth, and daytime phone number.

Avoid Flood-Damaged Vehicles

Sellers may try to hide a vehicle’s exposure to flooding. This occurrence commonly happens in coastal cities and towns where hurricanes and other natural disasters occur. However, people can also ship cars to nearby states, such as Missouri, to further hide flood damages.

While it is not always possible to tell if a vehicle has had exposure to flooding, there are steps that potential buyers can take to prevent a poor purchase. First, they can ask the dealer or private seller questions about the car’s history. In addition, they hire a mechanic or inspector to look over the vehicle for signs of damage or exposure. They can also research it using the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s VINCheck and National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). Carfax and Experian also contain information relating to flooding and associated damages.

What are the Seller’s Tasks?

Upon selling the vehicle, the previous owner must give the buyer 1) the completed certificate of title, 2) the safety inspection certificate*, and 3) proof of emissions inspection**. The back of the title must include the names and signatures of the buyer and seller. In addition, the seller must also enter the odometer reading and purchase date. It does not require notarization and cannot have whited-out sections, erase marks, or cross-out areas. Before providing this information, the person selling the vehicle must remove and keep their license plates as they are non-transferable.

*Less than sixty (60) days old.

**ONLY required if the seller lives in St. Louis City or Jefferson, St. Charles, or St. Louis counties.

Notice of Sale

The seller has thirty (30) days to notify the DOR of the sale. They can fulfill this requirement by completing a notice of sale (Form 5049) or a bill of sale (Form 1957). This process helps the DOR notify the buyer of steps and penalties if they fail to apply for the title within sixty (60) days of the purchase. It also relieves the seller from liabilities associated with vehicle ownership.

Individuals who fail to report the sale are guilty of an infraction, resulting in a fine of up to $200. In addition, sellers attempting to help the buyer avoid purchasing a title, paying fees, or other fraudulent matters can receive a Class C Misdemeanor and a fine of up to $300.

Gifting Vehicle

In Missouri, sellers can gift vehicles to buyers as long as they follow the state’s requirements. Most importantly, the car cannot be gifted two (2) times in a row.

The title must include “GIFT” in the sales price area for the transfer to happen legally. It cannot have the dollar amount as $1. The seller must hand over the safety inspection certificate, proof of emissions inspection (if applicable), general affidavit (Form 768), or written statement of gift (notarization not required). If the vehicle had a loan, the seller must also include a notarized lien release (Form 4809) to prove they paid back the owed amount.

The seller must report the gift (or transfer) to the DOR within thirty (30) days by submitting a notice of sale (Form 5049) or a bill of sale (Form 1957). Furthermore, the giftee, or new vehicle owner, must complete a general affidavit with the required title and registration forms. The state does not assess a state or local tax on gift transactions.

How to Register a Car in Missouri (5 Steps)

Individuals residing in Missouri have thirty (30) days from their purchase to title their vehicle and pay sales taxes. If they miss the deadline, they receive a $25 title penalty starting on the 31st day. The amount increases by $25 every thirty (30) days, with the maximum fee set at $200. Non-residents entering the state have thirty (30) days from establishing Missouri residency to register and title their car.

Step 1 – Safety Inspection

Missouri law requires most vehicles to pass a safety inspection. If it passes, the owner receives a Certificate of Inspection and Approval, which they must present to the licensing office during titling and registration. The document lasts sixty (60) days, starting with the inspection day. If the owner purchased the car from a dealer, the certificate lasts for ninety (90) days if the dealership had it inspected no more than sixty (60) days before the purchase.

The state does not require the car to undergo inspection if it:

  • Has a model year of ten (10) years or newer with less than 150,000 miles;
  • Was registered for 26,000 pounds and less than twelve (12) months;
  • Has an “even” model year with a registration expiring in an “odd” calendar year;
  • Has an “odd” model year with a registration expiring in an “even” calendar year;
  • Is a trailer;
  • Is registered as a commercial interstate vehicle;
  • Has a historic plate;
  • Is considered a junk, salvage, or rebuilt vehicle;
  • Has been sold between dealers; and/or
  • Is regarded as a “low speed” car.

The state does not require inspections on the transactions listed below:

  • Plate renewals transferred from one (1) car to another within the past six (6) months;
  • Transferring a registration (i.e., no change in ownership) to an “even” model year in an “odd” calendar year and vice versa; and
  • Renewal or registration of an out-of-state vehicle. It must be out of the state for at least sixty (60) days beforehand. Once it returns to Missouri, it must undergo an inspection within ten (10) days. The owner must also submit a general affidavit (Form 768).

Step 2 – Emissions Inspection

Only certain counties and cities need an emissions inspection in Missouri. St. Louis City and the counties of St. Louis, St. Charles, and Jefferson have this requirement. The process must happen before registration and titling. If it passes inspection, the owner has sixty (60) days to bring the certification document, and other required forms, to the appropriate office.

The Missouri DOR does not operate emissions inspections. Instead, the Department of Natural Resources and Missouri State Highway Patrol handle it. This established system is also called the “Gateway Vehicle Inspection Program.” After going through emissions, the certified inspector completes a vehicle inspection report and either passes or fails the car.

An inspection is mandatory if the vehicle sells, regardless of the model year. However, the car does not need a review if it qualifies as “exempt.”

Step 3 – Insurance

All motor vehicle owners within state borders must have a proper insurance plan from an authorized provider. The plan must include:

  • Bodily Injury Coverage: $25,000 per person, $50,000 per accident;
  • Property Damage Coverage: $25,000 per incident; and
  • Uninsured Motorist Coverage (Bodily Injury): $25,000 per person and $50,000 per accident.

Proof of the insurance plan must remain in the vehicle at all times. Law enforcement can ticket drivers who cannot provide this information upon request.

Step 4 – Title & Registration

The state requires specific paperwork depending on the buyer’s situation. For example, established residents must provide different paperwork than new residents. Similarly, owners of new and used cars have to follow separate protocols.

Title (Resident)

When titling a vehicle, owners must provide the appropriate documents to the licensing office. This step requires the buyer to submit the completed title with a signature from the seller. Alternatively, the state accepts an MSO instead of the title.

Next, they must provide a completed application (Form 108) and ID number/odometer (ID/OD) inspection. The individual must include an odometer disclosure statement (Form 3019) and a notarized lien release (Form 4809) if applicable.

The resident must pay the title fee ($8.50) and the processing fee ($6) upon providing this information. In addition, they owe the state tax (4.225%) and the local sales tax on the purchase or trade-in price.

Registration (Resident)

New residents can apply for a Missouri registration by submitting the title or MSO, application (Form 108), paid personal property tax receipt or statement of non-assessment from their county during the previous year, safety inspection, insurance ID card, emissions inspection, and payment.

Title and Registration (New Resident)

New residents with an out-of-state title and registration must provide documentation that proves ownership and verifies that the vehicle meets Missouri guidelines. The individual receives an in-state registration, title, license plates, and tags if approved.

The required forms include:

  • Original Title (or proof of ownership in the previous state);
  • Application (Form 108);
  • ID Number and Odometer (ID/OD) Inspection;
  • Active Insurance ID Card;
  • Statement of Non-Assessment;
  • Missouri Safety Inspection; and
  • Missouri Emissions Inspection (if applicable).

Step 5 – Renewal

Missouri car registrations last for one (1) or two (2) years. The length depends on the options provided by the licensing office during registration and the vehicle owner’s preference. Residents can only obtain a two (2) year registration if they register an even model year car during an “even-numbered year” or an odd model year car during an “odd-numbered year.”

Renewals can happen up to six (6) months before the tags expire. The owner must renew before the last day of the expiration month. If they fail to submit the paperwork by this time, they must pay an additional $5 fee. They can renew by phone (573-751-1957), online, by mail, or in person.

The state provides a renewal requirements inquiry, which allows residents to enter information to determine what they need to bring to their appointment. However, in general, the licensing office requires the following:

  • Vehicle Registration Renewal Notice OR Application for Motor Vehicle License (Form 184)
  • Safety Inspection
  • Emissions inspection (if applicable)
  • Proof of Paid Personal Property Tax (for previous year or two (2) years; can submit receipt or statement of non-assessment from the county)
  • Proof of Valid Car Insurance
  • Current Registration
  • Payment

Stolen Plates and/or Tabs

If someone steals the car owner’s license plates or tabs, they can receive up to two (2) sets of replacements each year for free. In this case, they must provide the licensing office with a notarized Replacement Plates/Tabs Application (Form 1576) and a $6 processing fee. They can give the information in person or mail it to the address listed below:

Mailing Address:
Missouri Department of Revenue
Motor Vehicle Bureau
PO Box 100
Jefferson City, MO 65105-0100

Replacing the Title

If the owner loses or destroys their title, they can apply for a new one by submitting a Title and License Application (Form 108) and payment ($8.50 duplicate title fee and $6 processing fee). If a lienholder exists, they must also provide a notarized lien release (Form 4809). They must submit the information to a Missouri license office or through the mail to:

Mailing Address:
Motor Vehicle Bureau
301 West High Street, Room 370
PO Box 100
Jefferson City, MO 65101-0100